Saturday, May 1, 2021

REVIEW: Cutie and the Beast (manga, vol. 2) by Yuhi Azumi, translated by Angela Liu

Cutie and the Beast is a contemporary romance manga. It's licensed by Seven Seas. I bought my copy brand new.


At the end of the first volume, Momoka's parents caught her and Kuga in a loving moment, after Kuga asked Momoka to marry him one day. Momoka's father is understandably displeased with what he views as an adult pro wrestler toying with his starstruck teenage daughter. Kuga becomes determined to win him over and show how serious he is about Momoka.

And that's the bulk of this volume. We get a flashback to Kuga's past, early in his career as a pro wrestler, and Kuga and Momoka go on a date (or at least attempt to), but the largest portion of the volume was devoted to Momoka's dad sternly staring at Kuga and Kuga bringing gifts and doing anything else he could think of to win him over.

"Overprotective dad" storylines can be annoying sometimes, but I was fully on board with this one, mostly because I didn't view Momoka's dad's behavior as overprotective. A wrestler several years older than his teenage daughter basically just proposed to her after they'd met maybe three times face-to-face and chatted a bit online and over the phone. Yeah, I thought it was perfectly fine for Momoka's dad to step in. I felt he handled things pretty well, too.

However, because that took up so much of the volume, there was less time to continue building up and growing Kuga and Momoka's relationship. Which, let's face, it, is still very much in its infancy despite Kuga's proposal. Like I said earlier, they've barely spent any time together in person. I don't recall Kuga ever figuring out a solution to the whole "if people find out I'm in a relationship with a high schooler, my career will be over" problem, and the end of this volume made it clear that neither Kuga nor Momoka had ever considered the realities of trying to make their relationship work despite Kuga being a fairly recognizable minor celebrity.

Nothing in this series has impressed me much so far. Characters' facial expressions and proportions still seem a bit off, and Momoka and Kuga's relationship is bland and not terribly interesting. While the flashback to Kuga's past was nice enough, nothing in Volume 2 added much to Kuga and Momoka that we didn't learn in Volume 1, and I'm already getting a bit bored with them. So I think I'll be stopping this series here. Honestly, if I hadn't ordered the first two volumes together (Right Stuf surprised me by sending me Volume 1 much earlier than I expected), I'd probably have stopped after the first volume.


A 1-page afterword by the author, plus a teaser page for volume 3.

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